A former flea market in the heart of Chinatown, Canal Street Market reimagines the neighborhood’s distinct Chinese roots with a sleek and modern spin. Similar to its former residents, the market’s vendors offer a variety of Asian-influenced grab-and-go foods and design-centric items.
The market is split into two sections with retail dominating one side and restaurants on the other. After you work up an appetite wandering through the market’s shops, filled with a rotation of artisans and products, grab something to eat from one of the many food vendors. Sit at the raised counters that line the market or opt for the quieter open space at the back of the retail portion. The section, with an abstract millennial pink mural by artist Alexandra Proba, is bathed in sunshine from the skylight above. With so much to see, we’ve mapped out the top five things you can’t miss at Canal Street Market right now.
Description: This Korean BBQ spot (already popular at the Gansevoort Market) offers a playful take on the cuisine in the form of saucy bibimbap rice bowls, salads, burritos and tacos made with bulgogi beef, sesame chicken, gochujang marinated pork or sesame ssamjang tofu (a spicy Korean condiment). Kimchi and pickled vegetables add a mouth-puckering pop. From behind the counter, you can watch chefs use a torch to sear the meat for an added delicious crisp.
Don’t miss: The bulgogi steak sandwich. Exclusive to the Canal Street Market location, the glossy brioche bun–stuffed bulgogi sandwich is dressed with grilled onions, pickled chili peppers and American cheese.
Description: Izakaya/Samurice is the mashup between the casual East Village eatery and a Japanese rice restaurant chain. Here they offer a tight but flavorful menu of bento boxes, Japanese curry rice and pour-over miso and rice soups.
Don’t miss: The drip miso soup and drip ochazuke. Owner Yudai Kanayama’s pour-over dashi (broth) method drips straight into a cup of miso soup or rice for ochazuke, which allows for maximum umami flavors. For a heartier lunch option, aim for the drip ochazuke–a simple Japanese dish made by pouring dashi over cooked rice. It is made here at Izakaya/Samurice using the drip filter method and gussied up with seaweed and scallions.
Description: Lulu is the standout pastel pink superfood smoothie bar at the front of the market. The fun and playful stall, which also serves bowls and toasts, is accented by eye-catching bronze Tom Dixon metallic lamps and is the collaboration between the market’s developer Philip Chong, Maximilian Caraballo (former mixologist at Apothéke) and artist Alexandra Proba. The vegan menu, influenced by Caraballo’s cocktail background, is filled with superfood toppings like bee pollen, lucuma and maca and surprise ingredients like cauliflower and dragon fruit.
Don’t miss: The much Instagrammed Sonny Smoothie Bowl. This smoothie bowl is colored a deep-sea blue thanks to Blue Majik, a green-blue spirulina extract, combined with pineapple and banana artfully topped with coconut, pomegranate and bee pollen. It’s almost too pretty to eat.
Description: This organic food-based skincare brand is preservative-, additive- and fragrance-free using ingredients like avocado, cucumber, blackberry and kiwi, which means its also edible. Started by model Stephanie Peterson and her husband, Jason Heiber, Smoothie Beauty is inspired by the all-natural, homemade masks she learned to make from her Korean grandmother to maintain her skin. All products are made in New York and are under three ounces—for travel. Every month this location also collaborates with a local yoga studio for its Mindful Unmasking series, which includes a yoga and meditation session followed by a face mask and a smoothie from Lulu.
Don’t miss: Sunrise Fresh Face Mask. A Smoothie Beauty bestseller, it gently brightens skin and contains five ingredients: whole milk Greek yogurt, raw active manuka honey, whole grain oats, turmeric and lemon juice. Note: These masks require refrigeration and should be used within a week of opening. If you’re traveling, Smoothie Beauty will pack up your masks in cold seal bags to keep your edible skincare fresh.
Description: A former costume-jewelry maker turned modern-day minimalist designer, Ramsay envisions her pieces as “totems,” or objects that give the wearer energy. Her jewelry casting process always creates leftover metal; these scraps are then reused to make the next batch. Casting comes from a clean source that uses environmentally friendly processes to prepare the metal for use in jewelry. Find her collection of brightly thread-wrapped bangles, leather chokers, chain-link necklaces and rings at the Young & Able space in the market.
Don’t miss: The leather choker. Each bead of these colorful, butter soft chokers is hand cut from a length of heavy-walled industrial brass tubing, polished and plated with 14-karat gold.